The Church of Santa Maria Inviolata is a Baroque church in Riva del Garda, located in Largo Guglielmo Marconi. The church is the most important architectural monument in Riva del Garda, and one of the most beautiful churches in Trentino.
The church was desired by Gianangelo Gaudenzio Madruzzo, governor of Riva and Arco, and by his wife, Alfonsina Gonzaga. The construction began in 1603 after a design by Pier Maria Bagnadore. The church was consecrated in 1636, and the works were completed in 1639.
A few years after the construction of the church, a convent was built nearby, where the monks belonging to the Order of the Poor Hermits of San Girolamo lived.
After the death of her husband, Alfonsina Gonzaga oversaw the completion of the decoration of the church and the construction of the convent.
The Church of Santa Maria Inviolata has a square-plan and an octagonal upper part, with a slightly detached bell-tower. The entire structure is austere and dominated by rectilinear geometric lines.
The church has three classical portals with architraves, with columns placed to support the triangular pediments, each surmounted by a circular window. In the upper part, there are eight rectangular windows, each decorated with a small triangular pediment that recalls those of the portals.
The interior has an octagonal plan, built with superimposed pilasters surmounted by round arches. It is rich in stuccoes, gilding, frescoes, paintings and statues that adorn the entrances, the main altar and the upper part of the church.
The most important work of art in the church is the fresco of the Madonna with Child. The fresco, a 16th-century work by Bartolomeo Mangiavino di Salò, depicts the Madonna with Child and below, adoring Saints Sebastian and Roch. According to tradition, the painting is considered miraculous and was a destination for pilgrimages.
Among others, inside the church we can find the altarpieces dedicated to San Carlo Borromeo, San Gerolamo and San Onofrio, by the painter Jacopo Palma the Younger, a portrait of Alfonsina Gonzaga painted by Martino Teofilo Polacco, and behind the altar, a painting with Christ on the Cross by Pietro Ricchi.
HOW TO GET THERE
The Church of Santa Maria Inviolata is located about 400 meters away from the main bus station of Riva del Garda. The closest stop of the bus Line 484, which connects Riva del Garda with other towns on Lake Garda (such as Malcesine and Garda), is in Viale Martiri, about 150 meters away.